Sidelines with John Clay

Memphis transfer Dedric Lawson off to a rough start at Kansas

As a sophomore at Memphis last season, now Kansas forward Dedric Lawson averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds.
As a sophomore at Memphis last season, now Kansas forward Dedric Lawson averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds. Associated Press

The controversial Lawson brothers are in the news again as Kansas forward Dedric Lawson, a transfer from Memphis, has been suspended from the team and will not accompany the Jayhawks on their upcoming trip to Italy.

The 6-foot-9 forward reportedly engaged in an altercation during a recent practice, prompting head coach Bill Self to suspend Lawson.

“I’ve suspended him because of an incident in practice,” Self said Sunday. “An altercation occurred and he didn’t handle it well. He’s on the team. He’s in school. He’ll be here whenever school starts. He’s aware he didn’t handle the situation well.”

The Jayhawks are to board a plane Monday for the trip to Italy, where Self’s team will play four exhibition games.

Kentucky will play Kansas on Nov. 14 in the Champions Classic at the United Center in Chicago.

[Calipari hopes schedule prepares “youngest team in history for post-season]

As a sophomore, Lawson averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game last season under head coach Tubby Smith at Memphis. He must sit out this season before becoming eligible for the 2018-19 campaign. Lawson’s brother, K.J., also transferred to Kansas after using profanity to rip Smith in a Snapchat video. K.J. Lawson later apologized for his comment.

The Lawsons’ departure was tied to the demotion of their father Keelon Lawson to director player development from assistant coach after Smith replaced Josh Pastner, now at Georgia Tech.

K.J. Lawson averaged 12.3 points and 8.1 rebounds as a sophomore for the Tigers, who went 19-9 overall and 9-9 in the American Athletic Conference. The Tigers collapsed down the stretch, losing six of their last seven games, including blowout losses to SMU (103-62) and Central Florida (84-54) in the final two.

Just two weeks ago it was learned that Jack Whitman, a graduate transfer from William & Mary who had committed to the Jayhawks, would not be attending Kansas, after all. Whitman averaged 10.1 points and 4.5 rebounds last season. His departure leaves Kansas with just three big men on scholarship for the 2017-18 season.

Kentucky basketball 2017-18 non-conference schedule

Date

Opponent

Site

11/10/17

Utah Valley

Rupp Arena

11/12/17

Vermont

Rupp Arena

11/14/17

Kansas

Chicago

11/17/17

East Tennessee

Rupp Arena

11/20/17

Troy

Rupp Arena

11/22/17

Fort Wayne

Rupp Arena

11/26/17

UIC

Rupp Arena

12/2/17

Harvard

Rupp Arena

12/9/17

Monmouth

New York

12/16/17

Virginia Tech

Rupp Arena

12/23/17

UCLA

New Orleans

12/29/17

Louisville

Rupp Arena

1/27/18

West Virginia

Morgantown

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